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Habitat celebrates opening with variety of classes

“The biggest challenge in this town… was always we never had a space,” she said. 

With the opening of the Habitat, the theatre classes now have a permanent home with enough space, and where they can leave their equipment behind at the end of the day.

The classes will include many different aspects of theatre. Students will do voice work, movement, improv, theme development, puppetry and more through theatre games and other exercises. Another important aspect of the classes is learning how to perform in front of a crowd and with a group. The students will also work on a play, to be performed at a later date, throughout the classes.

Ages six to 18 are welcome to attend the classes. Kohn said she has many younger children already signed up. 

Classes will run every Wednesday and Friday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Joining Kohn will be a few other teachers to help out with the different ages in the group. 

“I have a lot of the little kids already,” Kohn said.

Students can attend one class or both each week, because Kohn understands many of Jasper’s youth are busy with other commitments. 

The classes are great for youth to get out of the house and be creative.

“It’s fun, you get to use your imagination in ways you don’t get to at home,” she said. 

The classes will develop theatre and life skills, but Kohn said they are mostly all about enjoyment. 

“The number one reason is really for fun,” she said. 

Although the exact details of the play to be performed are still being worked out, Kohn said she can almost guarantee it will be an adaptation of On Mountain Top Rock, a novel by former Jasperite John McLay set in Jasper in 1954. Kohn said they hope to use puppetry, black light theatre and other techniques in the performance. 

While the theatre classes have started, there’s still time to drop by the Habitat and get signed up.

Keeping up with the entertainment industry, David Baker is hosting video classes in the editing suite until Jan. 29 on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Barker said the classes are meant for video editors with any or no experience. 

“You can bring whatever experience you have,” he said.

The classes are meant to teach the students how to enter their voices into a world of new media.

“We live in an era where people consume all kinds of media,” Barker said. “The purpose of the course is to give people a voice in this new media.”

The classes will discuss how to attend an event with a video camera, and teach basic editing skills. Access to the Habitat’s editing suites for processing videos is available as well. Barker says one of the key skills is learning how to take a day’s worth of filming and pare it down into a five minute, viewer-friendly edition. 

“It will introduce you to digital non-linear editing,” he said. 

Barker has been piecing together video for 30 years now, but he shies away from the term “filmmaker”. He prefers to explain what he does with a favourite quote: “Local people tell their own stories best.”

“The idea is getting people to tell their own stories,” he said. 

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